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Apple A8

Apple A8

The Apple A8 is a high-end ARM SoC (System on a Chip) launched in September 2014 alongside the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. The two CPU cores are clocked at 1.4 GHz (compared to the 1.3 GHz Apple A7) and are based on Apple's 2nd generation 64-bit architecture, called "Cyclone 2". Furthermore, the A8 integrates a PowerVR Series 6 (Rogue) GX6450 GPU and a 2x 32-bit LPDDR3-1333 memory controller.

Architecture 

With Cyclone 2, Apple have managed to improve the already high performance per clock of the original Cyclone core (Apple A7) by another 10 to 15 percent. Neither Qualcomm's Krait nor ARM's Cortex-A57 can compete with the resulting IPC. The exact design changes have not been revealed, but we would expect enlarged caches and registers as well as an optimized branch prediction. As an ARMv8 architecture, Cyclone 2 is 64-bit capable.

Performance

Thanks to its impressive performance per clock, the Apple 1.4 GHz dual-core is a tough opponent for other high-end SoCs like the Nvidia Tegra K1 (4 cores @ 2.3 GHz) or Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 (4 cores @ 2.7 GHz). While the quad-core competitors win most multi-threaded benchmarks, the Apple A8 offers superior single-threaded performance, which is arguably more relevant for most everyday tasks like browsing. Overall, the A8 is one of the fastest smartphone SoCs as of late 2014.

Graphics

The SoC integrates a PowerVR Series 6 (Rogue) GX6450 GPU consisting of 4 clusters. Each cluster offers four FP16 and two FP32 ALUs, leading to a slightly higher shader performance than the former G6430. The core is predicted to be clocked relatively low at around 450 MHz (115 GFLOPS) to help reduce power consumption. According to our benchmarks, the GX6450 clearly outclasses the Adreno 330 in terms of 3D performance, but looses against Nvidia's more power hungry Tegra K1. Thus, the GX6450 is one of the fastest smartphone GPUs as of 2014 and can handle even the most demanding mobile games in high resolutions.

Power Consumption

In contrast to previous Apple SoCs, the A8 is manufactured by TSMC instead of Samsung. Using a brand-new 20 nm process, the SoC measures just 89 mm² and consists of about 2 billion transistors. Power consumption should be similar to or slightly below competing high-end SoCs by Qualcomm or Samsung.

SeriesApple
CodenameCyclone 2
Clock Rate1400 MHz
Level 1 Cache256 KB
Level 2 Cache1024 KB
Level 3 Cache4096 KB
Number of Cores / Threads2 / 2
Transistor Count2000 Million
Manufacturing Technology20 nm
Die Size89 mm2
FeaturesARMv8 Instruction Set, PowerVR GX6450 (4 Cluster Rogue), 2x 32 Bit LPDDR3-1333 Memory Controller
GPUPowerVR GX6450
64 Bit64 Bit support
Announcement Date09/09/2014

Benchmarks

Octane V2 - Total Score
0%
100%
min: 7225     avg: 7408 (17%)     median: 7377 (17%)     max: 7653 Points
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
0%
100%
min: 4469.8     avg: 4523.7 (8%)     median: 4514 (8%)     max: 4597.1 ms
Geekbench 3 - 32 Bit Multi-Core Score
0%
100%
min: 2864     avg: 2879 (9%)     median: 2881.5 (9%)     max: 2889 Points
Geekbench 3 - 32 Bit Single-Core Score
0%
100%
min: 1609     avg: 1614.5 (35%)     median: 1614.5 (35%)     max: 1620 Points
Geekbench 3 - 64 Bit Multi-Core Score
0%
100%
min:      avg: 0 (0%)     max: Points
Geekbench 3 - 64 Bit Single-Core Score
0%
100%
min:      avg: 0 (0%)     max: Points
3DMark - Ice Storm Unlimited Physics 1280x720 offscreen
0%
100%
min: 9137     avg: 9282 (13%)     median: 9259 (13%)     max: 9473 Points
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - CPU Tests
0%
100%
min: 43696     avg: 44118 (16%)     median: 44118 (16%)     max: 44540 Points
AnTuTu Benchmark v5 - Total Score
0%
100%
min: 30877     avg: 43443.3 (54%)     median: 49093 (61%)     max: 50360 Points
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score
0%
100%
min: 340     avg: 354.9 (9%)     median: 347.2 (9%)     max: 385 ms
Sunspider - 0.9.1 Total Score
0%
100%
min: 211.3     avg: 286.6 (3%)     median: 286.6 (3%)     max: 361.8 ms
Linpack Android / IOS - Multi Thread
0%
100%
min: 1439.05     avg: 1439.9 (49%)     median: 1439.9 (49%)     max: 1440.81 MFLOPS
Linpack Android / IOS - Single Thread
0%
100%
min: 766.2     avg: 767.2 (75%)     median: 767.2 (75%)     max: 768.27 MFLOPS
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card

Reviews for the Apple A8 processor

Apple iPad Mini 4 (Imagination PowerVR GX6450, 7.9")
» Apple iPad Mini 4 First Impressions - Review
» Apple iPad Mini 4 Tablet Review - Review
» Apple iPad Mini 4 - External Review

Apple iPhone 6 (Imagination PowerVR GX6450, 4.7")
» Apple iPhone 6 Smartphone Review - Review
» Apple iPhone 6 - External Review

Apple iPhone 6 Plus (Imagination PowerVR GX6450, 5.5")
» Apple iPhone 6 Plus Smartphone Review - Review
» Apple iPhone 6 Plus - External Review

» Mobile CPU Comparison
Comparison of all mobile CPU series

» Mobile Processors - Benchmarklist
Benchmarklist of all known CPUs that are used in laptops (desktop and laptop CPUs)

Other CPUs of the series

» AMD 1800X
   3.6 GHz / 0 MB
» AMD 1700X
   3.4 GHz / 0 MB
» AMD 1700
   3 GHz / 0 MB
» Kirin 960
   2.4 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A9X
   2.26 GHz / 0 MB
» Kirin 955
   2.5 GHz / 0 MB
» Kirin 950
   2.3 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A10 Fusion
   2.34 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A9
   1.8 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A8X
   1.5 GHz / 2 MB + 4 MB
» Apple A8
   1.4 GHz / 1 MB + 4 MB
» VIA Nano QuadCore L4700
   1.2 GHz / 4 MB
» Kirin 925
   1.8 GHz / 0 MB
» Kirin 920
   1.7 GHz / 0 MB
» Kirin 935
   2.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Kirin 655
   2.1 GHz / 0 MB
» Kirin 650
   2 GHz / 0 MB
» Kirin 930
   2 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A7
   1.3 GHz / 1 MB + 4 MB
» RK3288
   1.8 GHz / 0 MB
» Mediatek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
   1.5 GHz / 0 MB
» Kirin 910T
   1.8 GHz / 0 MB
» Mediatek MT8163 V/B 1.3 GHz
   1.3 GHz / 0 MB
» Mediatek MT8161
   1.3 GHz / 0 MB
» RK3188
   1.8 GHz / 0 MB
» Kirin 620
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Kirin 910
   1.6 GHz / 0 MB
» Intel Celeron 220
   1.2 GHz / 0.5 MB
» AMD GX-210JA
   1 GHz / 1 MB
» Marvell Technology Group Armada PXA1908
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A6x
   1.4 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A6
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Marvell Technology Group PXA1088
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Intel Celeron 2.8
   2.8 GHz / 0.1 MB
» OMAP 4470
   1.5 GHz / 0 MB
» k3v2 Hi3620
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» RK3066
   1.5 GHz / 0.5 MB
» MP5232
   1.5 GHz / 0 MB
» Broadcom BCM21664T
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Marvell Technology Group PXA986
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» AML8726-MX
   1.5 GHz / 0.5 MB
» OMAP 4460
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» RK3168
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Broadcom BCM28155
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» OMAP 4430
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A5x
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A5
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» NovaThor U8500
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» NovaThor U8420
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Qualcomm S2 MSM8255
   1.5 GHz / 0 MB
» RK2918 1.2 GHz
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» A10
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Cortex A8 1.2 GHz
   1.2 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A4
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» A13
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» WM8950
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» OMAP 3630 1GHz
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» OMAP 3622
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» RK2918
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» TCC8803 1GHz
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» ZiiLABS ZMS-08
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Cortex A8
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» ATM7029
   1 GHz / 0 MB
» Loongson 2F
   0.9 GHz / 0.5 MB
» CSR8670
   0.08 GHz / 0 MB
» unknown
   0 GHz / 0 MB

Surrounding CPUs

- AMD A-Series A10 Micro-6700T
   1.2 GHz / 2 MB
- AMD A-Series A4-3310MX
   2.1 GHz / 2 MB
- AMD A-Series A4-3320M
   2 GHz / 2 MB
- Mediatek MT6595 Turbo
   2.5 GHz / 2 MB
- Samsung Exynos 5433 Octa
   1.9 GHz / 0 MB
» Apple A8
   1.4 GHz / 1 MB + 4 MB
+ NVIDIA Tegra K1
   2.3 GHz / 2048 KB
+ Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084
   2.7 GHz / 2048 KB
+ Intel Atom Z3580
   2.33 GHz / 2048 KB
+ Intel Atom Z3736F
   1.33 GHz / 2048 KB
+ Intel Atom Z3736G
   1.33 GHz / 2048 KB
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Benchmarks / Tech > Notebook Processors > Apple A8 SoC
Klaus Hinum (Update: 2014-10-13)